In the far south of Texas, Democrats outnumber Republicans. But there are still plenty of Trump supporters to be found in the Rio Grande valley that lies across from Mexico.
The region – with its border posts and detention centers – has been at the heart of the impact of the short-lived zero tolerance policy that split families accused of crossing the border illegally.
That and other elements of the Trump presidency are causing some, though certainly not all, to rethink their backing for the man in the White House.
Here is what some people who voted for Trump in 2016 told CNN:
Cristina Garfield, portrait photographer: Trump is doing a phenomenal job
Cristina Garfield has lived in Texas border communities all her life. She is pleased that immigration is again getting attention.
“I believe our President has done a phenomenal job so far. … As far as zero tolerance, he is enforcing law that has been here for decades,” she says.
Garfield, a member of Hidalgo Young Republicans, says she pays attention to the bigger picture about what is getting done, and not smaller distractions.
But, as perhaps is fitting for a Republican who grew up in a Democrat family, she also wants to see some bipartisan agreement. This nation of immigrants should welcome new people, she says, but it must be done safely and legally.
“Right now, border and immigration issues are the number one priority,” she says. “People need to sit down and find compromise in both parties. They need to put their heads together and find something that works – on both sides.”
That’s what she is seeing with President Trump – someone who is trying to find compromise to move forward. And she wouldn’t change his approach at all.
“Whatever the problem is, he addresses it, and that’s the kind of person I am.”
Joacim Hernandez, president, Hidalgo Young Republicans: Wants Trump to be more presidential
Joacim Hernandez admits he’s not the biggest fan of Donald Trump and that he is tired of defending him, but he is grateful for one thing. “Every morning I thank God Hillary isn’t president.’”
Hernandez, an HR executive for a produce distribution company, says he’s not scared by the trade war some people say will follow the administration’s imposition of tariffs.
And he’s glad the President took some swift action on border crossings. “Everyone who has opinions on the border situation … they don’t see it. They don’t live here every day.”
But the “zero tolerance” action that was taken troubled Hernandez, as does the lack of civility he sees coming from the administration, even as they point the finger at Democrats.
“When you hear about families being separated … you think we’re the party of family, faith and freedom, and it doesn’t look very civil. I understand that they’re trying to test or find a solution for the immigration crisis that we’re facing, so yeah, I understand it, but it’s definitely hard to defend.”
“There are some things he says that you have to cringe,” Hernandez says of Trump, adding he would like a leader who is “more presidential” and someone who has more compassion. Indeed, if someone were to run against Trump in a presidential primary, he would consider voting for them.
And there is one issue where he is at complete odds with the public pronouncements from the White House.
Asked if Mexico would pay for a border wall – the rallying cry of the 2016 campaign – Hernandez laughs and says “no.”
Jorge Rojas, practice manager: Let Trump work
Jorge Rojas has managed his wife’s dental practice in McAllen, Texas since 1989, and has lived on the US-Mexico border his whole life. He voted for President Obama his first term, but then switched gears to support Mitt Romney in 2012 and now fully supports President Trump.
His main reason for jumping to the GOP was to “see change here at the border with immigration policies that work,” he says.
“Being here in ‘The Valley’ and seeing the suffering firsthand has been a huge turnoff for me,” he says.
He has taken annual mission trips to Central America since 2001 and has seen how rough life is for children and families in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Even so, he wants to see a secure border where people come legally, not across the Rio Grande.
Rojas believes that President Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy is finally a path to help secure the border, and he hopes that the border wall that President Trump promised will be next.
He wants to see what the Trump administration policies here in the Rio Grande Valley and across the country can actually do if given the chance.
Sergio Sanchez, talk radio host: Family separations start in Central America
Sergio Sanchez hears daily from the community on his talk radio show, and says they are conservative people on the border, though “they would just never confess to being Republican.”
Sanchez, however, happily declares his own support for President Trump.
“The present narrative of this border crisis is ridiculous,” he says. “The porous border has never been fixed and it’s about time that we do. With President Trump, we have someone who is making a serious attempt to enforce rule of law.”
He argues many family separations start in Central America when children are sent north by themselves, adding that the United States’ tougher stance now needs to be understood in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
“The back door to the country is not unlocked anymore,” says Sanchez, whose show on KURV is called “The Wall.”
“You may be separated from your children and it is illegal to enter at places that are not ports of entry – that message needs to get to Central America.”
Sanchez also supports Trump’s style of governing: “He says it the way it is.”
“The more he is who he is, the more people like him,” Sanchez adds. “He doesn’t change – I think people like that. We know what we are dealing with.”
CNN’s Joel De La Rosa contributed to this story.